Harper College

Steel Drum Bands

Paul Ross, Director

Harper's steel band program includes bands for beginning, intermediate and advanced players. The bands learn the latest steel drum techniques and a contemporary repertoire, including Trinidad's newest calypsos and original works by Director Paul Ross and composer Steve Flowers.

Harper is the proud owner of ten steel pans made by world renowned steel pan craftsman, Cliff Alexis, a native of the homeland of pan, Trinidad and Tobago. Using these drums, the bands perform concerts on campus each semester. The groups also have opportunities to perform concerts in the community.

Some auditions and previous experience may be required (see below).

Audition Requirements

When required, auditions take place at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. Questions about joining the steel bands should be directed to Mr. Ross through the Department of Music Office or by emailing him at pross@harpercollege.edu.

Beginning Steel Band

While some understanding and ability to read music is preferable, no audition is required for Beginning Steel Band.

Intermediate Steel Band

Instructor Permission, previous playing experience and music reading skills are required to join the Intermediate Steel Band. Prior steel band experience is helpful but not required.

In some cases, an informal audition may be encouraged to discern if a student is a good fit for the ensemble. Such auditions include:

  1. Demonstrate some music reading skills.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to learn and perform a simple piece of music on the steel drum.

Advanced Steel Band

Joining the Advanced Steel Band requires at least two years of prior steel band experience and an audition, which includes:

  1. Perform prepared music on the steel drum.
  2. Demonstrate sight reading.
  3. Demonstrate major scales up to three sharps and flats.

Audition materials may be obtained from Director Paul G. Ross at pross@harpercollege.edu.

Last Updated: 4/8/24